Intel Unveils NUC 12 Extreme ‘Dragon Canyon’ Mini PC: Supports Alder Lake CPUs, PCIe Gen 5 Discrete Graphics Cards, Starting at $1150 US

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Intel has officially unveiled its next-gen NUC 12 Extreme 'Dragon Canyon' Mini PC powered by 12th Gen Alder Lake Desktop CPUs.

Intel Dragon Canyon NUC 12 Extreme Official: Alder Lake Desktop CPUs, PCIe Gen 5 Discrete Graphics Cards Support Starting at $1150 US

Intel's NUC 12 Extreme 'Dragon Canyon' comes with a lot of differences from previous offerings, including support for the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs on the desktop LGA 1700 socket.

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The Intel NUC 12 Extreme (code-named Dragon Canyon) and the Intel NUC 12 Extreme Compute Element (code-named Eden Bay), a highly modular desktop PC kit engineered to provide phenomenal performance for high-end gaming and content creation tasks, launch on Feb. 24, 2022. With the latest 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors, the Intel NUC 12 Extreme delivers massive performance and features that enthusiast gamers and professional creators need in a compact and modular form factor. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

About Its Monster Performance, Small Footprint: The NUC 12 Extreme offers breakthrough speeds with up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, featuring eight Performance-cores (P-cores) and eight Efficient-cores (E-cores), 24 threads and up to 5.1 GHz turbo boost max frequency.

Additional features include:

  • Intel UHD Graphics 770 (32EU)
  • Support for up to 64 GB dual-channel DDR4-3200 MHz SODIMMs
  • Support for PCIe Gen5 x16 graphics cards
    • Backward compatible with PCIe Gen4 and Gen3 devices
  • Support for up to three PCIe Gen4 M.2 SSDs
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211, a 10Gbps Ethernet port standard; and additional 2.5Gbps Ethernet port on Intel Corei9 processor SKUs

The NUC 12 Compute Element will begin offering Intel's LGA1700 socket in the small form factor PC. The platform is specifically designed to support 65W CPUs up to the Core i9-12900 & Core i7-12700, rocking up to 16 cores, 24 threads, 5.1 GHz clocks, & 30 MB of L3 cache. For memory, the latest NUC comes with support for dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory with capacities of up to 64 GB.

Expansion is a strong suit this time as the NUC 12 Extreme comes with triple M.2 slots, all of which are PCIe Gen 4 compliant. There's also a full-length PCIe Gen 5.0 x16 slot which can support up to 12" discrete graphics cards. For those who want to take advantage of the integrated graphics, the UHD Graphics 770 onboard the Alder Lake CPUs is decent enough for most HTPC needs. There is also an abundance of IO which includes HDMI 2.0b, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, WiFi6E support, BT 5.2, dual internal antennas, 6 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 2 USB 3.1 headers, 2 USB 2.0 headers & a 7.1 channel HD audio jack. For LAN, there's a 10GbE and a 2.5 GbE (Core i9 SKUs only) port.

As for pricing, well the Intel NUC 12 Extreme 'Dragon Canyon' is expected to hit retail shelves in Q2 2022 with a starting price tag of $1150 US for the Core i7 and $1450 US for the Core i9 variant. This setup only includes the barebone kit with the memory so you'd have to get your own storage & discrete graphics card for further expansion.

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